Creative visual thinking is fundamental to us all as human beings as we strive to understand our sense of self and the world. Chartwell seeks to deepen understanding about the importance of art and creative thinking for our future and our wellbeing.
Chartwell is an explorer of the visual world. We want to know more about how and what we see. When both the eye and the mind are active, the creative process opens to the artist and viewer. The Chartwell Collection provides the viewer many examples of creative visual thought in action.
Chartwell supports artists as they make and think. Making is an active and connected process, involving the interaction of intention, intuition and intellect with the mediums of the world. Chartwell is making too - making a difference through philanthropy and enabling access to creative activities and research.
Chartwell encourages everyone to think about art and the creative process with a commitment to drive an understanding about the significance of the visual arts to general creative thinking. We share a curiosity to know and learn more: an imaginative, ongoing investigation.
Sketch by Roger Walker in Rob Gardiner Ed's sketchbook
Did you know that the Chartwell Trust owned Rainbow Springs between 1974 and 1995? Pictured is architect Roger Walker’s sketch of planned Rainbow Springs architectural extensions made while travelling between Tahiti and American Samoa with Rob Gardiner.
In 1975 we engaged the well-known Walker to design a kiwi nocturnal house and from 1976-1981 worked with him to develop new administration buildings, a shop and restaurant.
In 1981, Rob Gardiner, as Director of Rainbow Springs Ltd, and Maxwell Martin, as Managing Director Rainbow and Fairy Springs, travelled as part of a NZ Tourism delegation, to Japan. This was to understand the growing Japanese Tourism market in New Zealand after direct flights were introduced a year earlier in August 1980.
The Chartwell Trust also initiated a major new development in 1986 - Rainbow Farm, and a tunnel was created under the road to link the two attractions. The Farm ran an exciting show and successful gift shop, based around agriculture in New Zealand. 1990 saw a new enlarged gift shop built and in 1992 a Booking centre and photo shop were opened. Rainbow Springs had 120 staff at this time!
The Shotover Group purchased Rainbow Springs and Farm from the Chartwell Trust group in 1995, and sold to Ngāi Tahu around 2004. We’re saddened to hear that Rainbow Springs will be closing its doors this year. The animals will all be rehomed and we hear that the National Kiwi Hatchery will remain open.